Sunday 1 January 2017


It is uncontroversial among many people in the West that this last year finished has been in some way bad; in fact, all that happened was that the horrors of the world finally began to visit themselves on us in a mediated, creeping way, and in our arrogance we realised for once that we were going to have experienced a year that was, if not quite as terrible as most recent years experienced by people elsewhere, more on a par. It is sad that a great number of beloved public figures have died; it is appalling that our certainties that fascism would never return, let alone be accepted as part of mainstream discourse, have been proven so very complacent. 2016's electoral catastrophes in Britain and the USA are still far from genocides and crusades, but for the first time since 2001, we suspect that these things might come to our doorstep.

2016 was the year that it came to us that we had the same problems as everyone else, on a level beyond the purely intellectual. Inasmuch as a year is a period of time to which we ascribe a significance and a limit, 2016 was for most people in the world, a year like any other. All that happened to us was that we finally got to share some of it.

For me, the disappointments, failures and heartbreaks of 2015 continued into the early months of 2016. But by April, it began to turn around. I started to succeed again. Modestly, perhaps, perhaps on penalties, but a win in the penalty shoot-out is no less valid a victory. I won, this year gone. I won.

My wish for you, friend, and if you're reading this far, I'll count you a friend whether I know you or not, is that you will achieve your own victory in 2017.